A new online survey seeking the views of the public on key challenges and opportunities for rural Ireland is now online, according to Kildare South TD and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon.

The survey is part of a consultation process being undertaken by the Department of Rural and Community Development to inform the development of a new, whole-of-Government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2020-2025.

Deputy Heydon said: “The Department of Rural and Community Development is now developing a new rural policy for Ireland, to follow on from the Action Plan for Rural Development which reaches the end of its three-year lifecycle at the end of 2019.

“The new policy will reflect a whole-of-Government commitment to rural Ireland and will take account of other key policy initiatives such as Project Ireland 2040, Future Jobs Ireland and the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

“This survey is an opportunity for Kildare people to have their say on issues which impact rural communities. It covers areas such as employment opportunities, Brexit, access to public services and facilities, broadband connectivity and transport infrastructure.

“People living, working, and raising families in rural areas throughout the country have important insights into both the challenges which impact on rural living, and the opportunities available to rural areas. These insights will contribute to informing Government policy for rural Ireland over the next five years.

“Engagement from the public, particularly those living and working in rural Ireland, is vital to assist us in developing this new policy and to identify policy measures which need to be put in place now to support rural areas for the future. I strongly encourage everyone to participate in this survey, to help us to ensure that our rural areas realise their full potential.

“I strongly encourage people living in Kildare to have their say on this vitally important policy area.”

The public consultation survey is available online at – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CTPVSHB – until Friday 11 October 2019.